America's Corner Store: Walgreen's Prescription for Success

John U. Bacon, Author
John U. Bacon, Author John Wiley & Sons $24.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-471-42617-2
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-471-67508-2
Open Ebook - 273 pages - 978-1-283-91671-4
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Since Charles Walgreen, the son of Swedish immigrants, opened his first store in 1901 on Chicago's South Side, the pharmacy that still bears his name has grown to more than 4,000 outlets in 44 states, employing 150,000...it's still and growing. A truly family endeavor (wife Myrtle cooked the lunch counter's hot meals in their cramped apartment for years and Chuck, Jr. delivered them), Walgreen's pursued success with an""almost religious devotion to substance over style."" In an era rife with corporate scandal and mismanagement, the company continues to please its investors and employees alike, and reportedly raked in $33 billion in 2002. For this reason alone, journalist Bacon's expansive, annotated commercial for the mom and pop pharmacy turned mega-chain will interest entrepreneurs. Equally noteworthy, though, is book's account of the arc of 20th century business itself and of how the Walgreens family steered--and expanded--their company through two world wars, one depression and myriad other economic obstacles.
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